Banner season ending leads solid efforts

The top-10 individual performances by an athlete in a team setting from the 2012-13 season were voted on by the Glendale News-Press sports staff.

1 Young Tae Seo closes out a banner career on May 11 — The CIF Southern Section Division II Swimming Finals proved to be an ultimately bittersweet day for the senior, who capped a brilliant career.

On one hand, defending divisional champion Crescenta Valley High lost its title to Los Osos, 285-234, at Riverside Community College on May 11.

Yet, the team effort did not overshadow what was an ultimately stellar individual effort for Seo.

The Naval Academy-bound senior still set two divisional records that day, the first when he rallied from a deficit midway through the 200-yard medley versus top-seeded Daniel McArthur of Lakewood.

Seo recovered through the breaststroke portion and broke his own record of 1 minute, 48.38 seconds with a mark of 1:47.80, which was almost two seconds faster than McArthur (1:49.53).

“That’s what I always try to do, pull from the breaststroke. I am happy breaking the record, but I could have done better, it’s not my best time,” said Seo after the victory. “I knew he wasn’t a breaststroker, so I knew that’s the only way I could beat him.”

Previously, Seo played the role of teammate perfectly, joining with Harrison Thai, Edward Yi and Jacob Ksendzov to set a new 200-medley relay record, topping runner-up Lakewood (1:34:47) by over a second with a mark of 1:33.39.

Seo then broke his 2011 record in the 100 breaststroke (55.81) in 55.25, but was just edged by Arroyo Grande’s Zachary Stevens’ record-setting performance (55.13).

2 Kirsten Vose at the CIF-SS championships on May 11 — Sophomore slumps typically last more than a few hours, but for Vose, she recovered in time for an exceptional finish at the CIF Southern Section Division I Swim Finals on May 11 at Riverside Community College.

Vose entered the final day of the season as the top-seeded swimmer in her two individual events — the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard breaststroke.

Her first event showcased Vose’s youth as the Tolog struggled to overcome two clock malfunctions.

Vose finished sixth in the 200 IM in a mark of 2:05.63, well behind the 2:01.81 pace of race winner and fellow sophomore Karli Thuen of JSerra.

Yet, later that afternoon, Vose found redemption with a victory in the breaststroke over University High senior Maggie Burton.

Vose trailed after 25 yards before eventually pulling even with a 1/4 of the race remaining and overtaking Burton on the final strokes for a victory in 1:02.57, just ahead of Burton’s 1:02.85.

“I saw her at the 50 and I wanted it so bad, I just pushed as hard as I could to try to catch her,” said Vose after the victory. “It feels really good, I knew it was going to be a really hard race because we’re all really fast.”

Vose also joined the trio of Emily Balog, Katie Altmayer and Kate Herrill in winning the 200-yard medley relay in upset fashion (1:44.26), while the same quartet took fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:36.12).

Overall, Flintridge Sacred Heart clinched seventh with 152 points, which marked the best finish for the program since it was moved up to Division I in 2009.

3 Heather MacDougall at CIF-SS championships on May 11 — Maybe there was no more impressive day for local athletes than May 11.

MacDougall, a Crescenta Valley High freshman, certainly enjoyed that sunny afternoon at Riverside Community College at the Division II Swim Finals.

MacDougall burst onto the championship scene in leading the Falcons to a revival. A year after taking 16th in 2012, Crescenta Valley captured fifth with 159 points, with a good portion of success due to MacDougall.

The freshman tallied an individual win in perhaps the most exciting race of the year — the 100-yard freestyle.

In that race, MacDougall trailed fellow ninth-grade phenom from Ayala, Kenisha Liu, for nearly the entire race before nipping her at the end with a time of 50.92 versus 51.10.

MacDougall’s triumph was due to her final lap, where her mark of 26.26 was stronger than Liu’s closing time of 26.88.

“I actually had no idea [I’d won], I was just really praying that I did,” MacDougall said after celebrating the triumph. “In the last 15, I saw in the corner of my eye she was like right with me and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, we’re so close.’ It was a lot of fun, I really enjoyed that race.”

4 Michael Davis at the state finals on June 1 — The enigmatic senior bucked convention by changing his workout routine in the final week of the season, which also happened to be the buildup toward the CIF State Track and Field Championships at Buchanan High in Clovis on June 1.

Instead of practicing with teammates or his coach, the BYU-bound Davis opted for private workouts in preparation for the 200-meter sprint prelims and finals.

Davis started well at the preliminaries on May 31, taking second (21.47) in his heat to high school sprinting sensation Khalfani Muhammad (20.94).

Davis, who was seventh overall, was the lone local to advance to the state championships the following evening.

That very next day, Davis caught a break when CIF Southern Section Division I champion, sophomore Myles Valentine of Upland, bowed out of the race because of hamstring issues.

With one less talented star in the race, Division I runner-up Davis took advantage by placing fifth and earning a medal and spot on the podium with a mark of 21.58.

“It’s not a [personal record], but I’ll take it. This feels amazing,” Davis said in a post-race interview. “You work hard for four years and you finally get to this day and all you want is a medal and I got it, I can’t believe I got it.”

5 Young Tae Seo at the Pacific League Finals on May 2 — It was a charming farewell for one of the more dominant swimmers in Pacific League history at the league finals May 2 at Burbank High.

Seo set two new individual records and helped create another league-best mark in a relay in leaving his name on a total of seven of 11 records.

Seo’s first record was one he already owned, when the senior and the crew of Harrison Thai, Edward Yi and Jacob Ksendzov combined to set a new league record of 1:35.98 in the 200-yard medley relay.

“It was an old one so we wanted to make a new record,” Seo said of the medley relay afterward. “Every year, we always want to make new records and break old ones.”

The mark topped a previous best of 1:37.80 set by a Falcons’ team that included Seo.

Shortly after, Seo put himself No. 1 on the 100 butterfly list with a 49.90.

Lastly, in the final event of the day, Seo set the league record in the 100 freestyle when he swam a 46.78 in the lead leg of the 400-yard freestyle. The previous league record was set in 1999.

6 Heather MacDougall at Pacific League Finals on May 2 — The Pacific League Finals on May 2 at Burbank High became a postseason coming-out party for the freshman.

MacDougall topped two of the three oldest records within league, first eliminating the league’s 200-yard freestyle mark of 1:54.74, which was established in 1982, with a personal-best record of 1:51.76.

Shortly after, MacDougall then took down a mark from 1992 in winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.23.

“In the 100 breast, I just wanted to have fun with it,” MacDougall said.

MacDougall also notched relay wins, teaming with Iva Icheva, Tiare Coker and Caitlin Connell to win the 200 freestyle relay in 1:42.80 before ending with a victory in the 400 freestyle with Samantha Kohn, Alyssa Nguyen and Coker in 3:42.82.

7 Paul Park at the CIF Southern Section Northern Team Divisional on May 6 — The junior may have turned in his top performance in the postseason at the team divisionals at par-72 Soule Park Golf Course in Ojai on May 6.

Park, who propelled the Falcons to third place in the Pacific League, carded a two-under-70 in finishing runner-up to Westlake’s Sean Croker (67).

“Things worked out well for me on the course and I hit a lot of my shots on the greens,” said Park, after his round. “My putting was good.

“I did well in a junior tournament in [nearby] Oxnard on Sunday and that helped me get going today. I came here ready to play and stuck to my routines.”

Park’s score was the best of any local who played that day, including from teams from La Cañada and St. Francis.

Park helped the Falcons finish 17th in the team standings.

8 Gabe Collison at the CIF-SS Cross-Country Championships on Nov. 17, 2012 — While fatigue, solid competition and an early start were elements that Falcons junior Gabe Collison was prepared to deal with, the top local runner was thrown a curveball on Nov. 17.

Collison raced in the CIF Southern Section Division I cross-country championship at Mt. San Antonio College on a wet course with a light mist.

The weather played havoc on the Falcons, who failed to qualify to the following week’s CIF State Meet at Fresno’s Woodward Park.

However, Collison provided a silver lining when he posted the area’s fastest time in clocking in 14:18, good for ninth.

The time and place were good enough to qualify Collison up north for the season finale.

9 Megan Melnyk at the CIF-SS Division I championship on May 8 — While the Glendale area was expecting Nitros sprinter Michael Davis to advance out of the CIF-SS Divisional championships into the following week’s Masters Meet, Melnyk provided a pleasant surprise.

The sophomore delivered a brilliant effort at the Division I championships at Mt. San Antonio College on May 18.

The Falcons’ sophomore sliced more than three seconds off her seeded mark in the Division I 800-meter run by finishing fourth with a personal-record mark of 2:13.34.

“This is what I’ve wanted all season, this was the goal,” Melnyk said. “I’ve work hard to get down my personal record and to advance to Masters and I can’t believe I did.”

Melnyk was in seventh after the first turn, but overtook three competitors during the final 300 meters in finishing fourth overall.

Melnyk entered the 800 with a personal-best time of 2:16 and a seeded mark of 2:16.63, which was good for fifth at the Division I prelims May 11 at Trabuco Hills High.

10 Kirsten Vose at the Mission League Finals on April 30 —The freshman put on a show at the Mission League Finals on April 30 at Los Angeles Valley College.

Vose set new records in two individual events, first in winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.82.

Vose later clinched the 200 individual medley in 2:03.94.

In the breaststroke, Vose eclipsed the record of former All-Area Swimmer of the Year Andrea Kropp of Flintridge Sacred Heart, who owned the mark of 1:04.39 set in 2010.

As for the individual medley, Vose surpassed Chaminade’s Meghan Hawthorne, who owned the record of 2:04.10.

As for teamwork, Vose joined Kate Herrill, Emily Balog and Katie Altmayer in cruising to a league record and winning time of 1:36.95 in the 200-yard freestyle relay, which was an All-American mark.

“That was my goal, for the IM and breaststroke, to try and break them,” Vose said. “I wasn’t positive I could go that fast, but I’m really happy that I succeeded. …These are the best times, the best I’ve ever gone my whole life.”

Altmayer, Haley Shewfelt, Mary Farley and Vose also came together for a crown in the 400-freestyle relay (3:42.21).

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